Polaris Prize shortlist announced, and it’s Toronto-heavy
Considering the long list for the Polaris Music Prize was—by our calculations—30 per cent Toronto bands, it’s no surprise that a few of those made the short list for this year’s prize, which was announced this afternoon. Newcomer Austra, made up of Torontonians Katie Stelmanis, Maya Postepski and Dorian Wolf, made the cut with their debut album Feel It Break, while Ron Sexsmith received a nod for Long Player Late Bloomer. Broken Social Scene’s label-mates Timber Timbre took a top 10 spot for Creep On Creepin’ On and Drake’s protégé The Weeknd is in the spotlight for his album House of Balloons.
The Polaris Prize celebrates the best Canadian album of the year, and the short list is truly representative of music from across Canada. Filling out the rest it are four Montreal bands—Arcade Fire for The Suburbs; Braids for Native Speaker; Galaxie for Tigre et Diesel; and Colin Stetson for New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges—and, moving further east and west, St. John’s Hey Rosetta! for Seeds and Vancouver’s Destroyer with Kaputt. Considering last year’s winner was little-known Karkwa, from Quebec, we’re not sure there is any predicting the outcome of this competition, but what is certain—and awesome— is that the Polaris Prize recently boosted its prize money, so one lucky band will walk away with $30,000 on September 19 at the Polaris Gala in Toronto. At least the Polaris Prize knows who Arcade Fire is.